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- Subject: Re: Proposal: Constant Tables
- From: marbux <marbux@...>
- Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2011 16:18:14 -0700
On Sat, Aug 13, 2011 at 12:30 PM, David Given <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> What is the implicit license if someone doesn't declare one then?
> In theory, none --- without a license, the code cannot be redistributed
> at all.
I'm happy to say that I am no longer a lawyer although I was until I
retired. Copyright infringement is a difficult topic on which to
generalize. It's not quite as iron-clad as stated. There are
exceptions. For example:
-- The fair use exception applies in most jurisdictions; however what
constitutes "fair use" isn't clear cut in most situations. I'll hazard
a guess that most courts would likely hold that it's fair use to quote
an email when replying to it. :-)
-- The E.U. has a directive exempting copying for personal use.
-- The U.S. and IIRC the E.U. as well have exemptions to copy object
code for interoperability reverse engineering purposes and a few other
But it's accurate to say that in the nations party to the Berne
Convention (163 nations, IIRC), a copyright automatically vests in an
author created upon first publication. It's an opt-out approach; the
author has that right until and unless s/he opts out.
> In practice,
The real problem is that the applicable law is way too far removed
from practice, practicality, and expectations, leaving almost everyone
who uses a computer at the mercy of those with an incentive to file
> Um... this advice is redistributable under the terms of the CC0 Creative
> Commons License (all rights possible waived).
CC0 is great. Also endorsed by the FSF for those who want to put works
in the public domain.
In our user community we try to encourage its use by example,
including in all of the scripts we publish the following language:
"RIGHTS: Author [insert name] hereby waives all copyright and related
or neighboring rights to this script, pursuant to the Creative Commons
CC0 Universal relinquishment of rights found at
As someone developing a set of scripting tools for free distribution,
I find it somewhat irksome when snippets are published under the
MIT/X11 license or similar that require including a separate copy of
the license used in the script or its readme for each separate snippet
used. (MIT/X11 requires inclusion of "this notice", which includes the
author's name and copyright date so quite literally a separate copy
required for each snippet recycled.)
Commonly, the license is longer than the snippet, leaving me to wonder
whether the people who slapped that license on their snippets realized
that the license requires inclusion of a copy of it with each
republication of the original or a derivative work. See e.g.,
<http://snippets.luacode.org/> (all licensed under MIT/X11).
I'd much rather work with CC0 snippets or with snippets under a
license that requires only the URL for the license. Far less bother to
include a comment pointing to the license or copyright waiver than to
include the license.